Saints bring back safety Johnathan Abram, an important keep for 2024

Johnathan Abram is back with the New Orleans saints for 2024, the team announced Wednesday. The sixth-year pro was a good pickup in 2023 and retaining him was an offseason priority for New Orleans. Having released Marcus Maye at the start of the new league year, the Saints needed more depth at safety, and Abram figures to have a good opportunity to compete for a starting job next to Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Howden.

Abram, 27, played well for the Saints while coming in off the bench, totaling 208 snaps across nine games. He started ahead of Howden for the last two games on their schedule including a breakout performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Abram intercepted Baker Mayfield and broke up another pass while forcing a fumble and logging 5 tackles. There were other games where his deficiencies in coverage were exposed, but games like that are good examples of what he can do when he’s locked in.

He was also an underrated source of leadership in the locker room, which is something Derek Car said he expected when the Saints first signed him. Younger teammates pointed to Abram as a positive influence during heated moments, and new free agent acquisitions like linebacker Willie Gay have singled him out as a big recruiter for the team. Whether or not Abram continues to start in 2024, he’s going to be someone the Saints continue to lean on.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire